KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Universiti Malaya (UM) broke past the top-150 barrier in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings for 2015 to 2016, as local universities registered mixed results in the annual evaluation of varsities around the globe.
UM went up five spots to sit in 146th place this year as it remained Malaysia’s top public university, bettering its 2014 rank of 151.
The closest Malaysian university on the ranking was Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), which jumped up 20 places to make it among the top-300 in 289th place.
Also enjoying an improvement to their standings was Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), which recorded the biggest leap up 45 places to finish in 331st place while Universiti Utara Malaysia made its debut on the annual rankings, bringing up the tally of Malaysian varsities on the QS list to eight.
Malaysian universities that faltered include Universiti Teknologi Malaysia(303th) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (312th), both of which fell out of the top-300.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM) also failed to better rankings and have landed in the 551-600 and 701+ bracket.
QS said Malaysian universities in the top 400 gained ground in the research indicator principally because of a new method applied to its assessment, whilst they have consistently lost ground in the academic reputation indicator and in the employer reputation indicator.
The global firm also said that the Malaysian universities excelled in two of the five faculty areas, with UM, USM and UTM ranked among the world’s Top 100 for Engineering and Technology while UM and USM sit among the Top 100 for Social Sciences & Management.
“The strengths of Malaysian institutions shine in the technical and social sciences while the performance in the world’s ranking has been mixed, with three universities rising mostly as a consequence of the methodological reform applied in this edition, three dropping, one new entry and one unchanged,” said QS head of research Ben Sowter.
“While there are some successes to celebrate, there is also room for improvement in all the indicators we consider. In particular, in the research indicator as there isn’t any local university among the Top 400”,’ he said.
The 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) aims to see two Malaysian universities ranked among the top 100 tertiary education institutions on the QS rankings.
The QS World University Rankings is an annual league table of the top universities in the world. This year, 3,539 institutions were considered for inclusion this year and 891 ranked.
The top ranked institutions were US’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, University of Cambridge, Stanford University and California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
The National University of Singapore (12th) is confirmed as the leading Asian institution while Nanyang Technological University (13th) enjoyed a quantum leap of twenty-six places, nearly closing the gap.